Having happened in April and posted in July, this moment is perfectly in season for me. This week I'm reminded to choose hope; to believe; to live expectantly.
Beneath wind-shivered maples, I wander slump-shouldered across brown grass. All that remains of the day, the week, is the occasional mumbling of half-sentences. Stopping near the ditch, downcast eyes glimpse the oasis. Edged by a thin line of green, dark water reflects grey clouds. I gaze into the liquid mirror while recounting the day; the week …the year.
Illness and divorce in the family, financial strain and church family upheaval… And, finally, our children are once again growing into another stage. It’s time to step up my parenting, though I have no clue how. I pull the sweater tight as April air chills. The snow disappeared weeks ago, leaving behind flat brown blades, vacant branches. All seems… grey. I’m old and spent and don’t know how parent my kids anymore. Maybe I’ve used up all my abilities. Perhaps my brain has finally disintegrated in the abyss of no-no’s and diapers and naps. Eyes fixed on the murky mirror, a sigh escapes. “God, help me! I don’t even know what to pray right now!”
And there, beneath bare limbs, it comes; the voiceless words. “Look up”
I raise my eyes, perhaps for the first time today, and there at eye level a bright green bulb peeks from its branch, promising to emerge soon. A smile broadens. I am not abandoned, to be forever surrounded by stark branches and the monochrome of in-between. Spring always follows winter.
I leave the oasis refreshed. By still water, the words of my Father have restored my soul. The end of a season is here, but a new one is birthing – one of vibrant colors, brimming with new life.